The Tragedy facing Ash Trees

I am saddened by the plight of ash trees. As today’s Daily Telegraph said “Britain will never look the same again” as 100,000 have been chopped down so far to try to halt the spread of the fungal disease . This is a tragedy.

Kipling tried to give the ash tree a place in an invented mythology for England in Puck of Pook’s Hill.  He swore by oak, ash and thorn. “Thorn of the Down saw New Troy Town / (From which was London born) / Witness hereby the ancientry/ Of Oak, and Ash, and Thorn.” He was arguing  that the ash stood guard when Brutus, the descendant of Aeneas, settled in Britain at about the same time that the Philistines were capturing the Ark Of The Covenant from the Israelites.

Throughout history the Ash has played a key role. Ash trees were believed to have  mystical properties.If you wanted to ward off evil spirits you would burn the ash which might offer an explanation as to why it was called   “Tree of Life” in Norse Viking mythology. Today the Ash is sometimes known as the “Venus of the woods” suggesting a magical link to life. What would the mythology say now that the tree is dying?

It was associated with mastery and the Sun. It had healing properties as a tea made from it was said to relieve the symptoms of gout and rheumatism. Essential oils from ash could be assured to bring a heightened feeling of strength and flexibility. It had practical uses too. In Bronze and Iron Age Europe many warriors used the ash wood to create spears and shield handles as the ash wood was strong and tough so ideal. In Greek legends Hector is killed by Achilles with an ash spear.

Ash also contributes to farmyard and the forest as the leaf fodder is rich in nutrients and soft enough for cattle, sheep, goats and deer to chew.

In Northern European lore, the famed World Tree, Yggdrasill, was an ash. This is the tree at the heart of the nine worlds. Each world has its own inhabitants, from Asgard which is the realm of the gods to Midgard which is the world that is familiar to us.

It has medicinal properties too. The leaves from the white and European ash make a tea that facilitates weight loss as it has diuretic and laxative properties. The bark of ash is believed to have liver and spleen cleansing attributes.

Homeopathic applications are that the white ash is good for uterine problems and European ash for rheumatic conditions. The berries of the tree, also called keys, will relieve gas.

The government has even summoned Cobra, the crisis committee to discuss how to halt  ash diebac’s spread as it has wiped out  up to 90% of ash trees in some areas of Denmark. The government banned imports of ash trees on Monday and as previously stated, have chopped down trees.

Really worrying is the negative impact that this could have on the environment. The Guardian today quoted what Rene Olivieri of the Wildlife Trust said last week :

Ash trees, as hedgerow and field trees, are an important feature in our landscape and also a key component of ecologically unique woodlands that support rare species.”

Experts are concerned that , 60 of Britain’s rarest insect species could be wiped out forever. For more information on which species visit    (photocredit)


TheTawny pinion moth is one of the rare species under threat of extinction.

Let us hope that something can be done to save some of our Ash Trees which were once called The Tree Of Life

I will end with an excerpt from Kipling’s “Puck of Pook’s Hill”  – The Tree Song:

Of all the trees that grow so fair,Old England to adorn,Greater are none beneath the Sun,Than Oak, and Ash, and Thorn.Sing Oak, and Ash, and Thorn, good Sirs(All of a Midsummer morn)!Surely we sing no little thing,In Oak, and Ash, and Thorn!
Rose Dixon

About rosedixon

Hello. I am a Registered Hypnotherapist, Reiki Master in the Usui/Tibetan Ryoho Tradition and a Certified Animal Reiki Practitioner. I have given Tarot and Psychic Readings for over 30 years. I have an MA in Psychoanalysis after studying language, symbols, dreams and the unconscious. I founded the School Of Wyrdynamics SOW, which is a school of thought whose intention is to study wyrd and patterns in my own and others' life unfoldments in order to create a healthier and more fulfilling life by maximising choices and positive potentials. Apart from above, other interests are Sociology, Quantum Physics, Qabalah, Ritual and Magickal Theory, Gematria, Animal Welfare and causes...To Be or Not to Be You. That is the Quest and I have lots of tools to help you to uncover and direct your patterns to become the best you.
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2 Responses to The Tragedy facing Ash Trees

  1. Kathy says:

    I love our ash trees. This is a wonderful memorial for them~~may they come back and thrive.

  2. rosedixon says:

    Ahh thank you. I hope so too. My friend was saying she reported a sick ash sapling that she saw in her local park to the council and they sent someone out immediately to take samples for testing. They thanked her for alerting them. What we can all do is keep an eye open for sick ash trees and report them. Take photographs if possible and email the photos as evidence. This is something we can all act on practically.

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